The latest addition to the British Shorthair line up is the Cinnamon British Shorthair....
The cinnamon British Shorthair is one of the newer additions to the British Shorthair collection of colours. It is a very deep, warm cinnamon-like colour, similar to the chocolate British Shorthair but with a warmer tone. Two of our girls carry the cinnamon gene (we do not have any cinnamon cats and we only use photographs of our own British Shorthairs, so the photograph above features Asian/Oriental/Siamese cinnamon cats)
History of the Cinnamon Cat
In 1960 a lady called Pam Evely introduced the cinnamon colour: she mated a seal point Siamese cat to a sorrell Abysinnian cat. One of the resulting kittens was a black agouti and was mated to a brown agouti. This mating produced the first cinnamon kittens. The colour was developed over many years and decades and a lot of hard work was put in to developing this new colour and also to getting the new colour officially recognised. Lovers of the cinnamon and fawn series owe a great debt to those initial breeders, whose dedication and commitment resulted in the cinnamon cat.
The Cinnamon British Shorthair
The colour was introduced to the British Shorthair line from the Oriental cat. Back in 1991 the Secretary of the Oriental Cinnamon and Fawn Group was approached by a British Shorthair breeder who wanted to introduce the cinnamon colour into the British Shorthair breed. A popular method was by breeding the cinnamon colour from a Siamese to a Persian and then from the Persian to the British Shorthair, to avoid losing too much of the cobbiness of the British Shorthair type.
The genetics of the colour have been investigated and a cinnamon gene has been identified. It is actually a mutation of the chocolate gene, in the same way that chocolate is a mutation of the black gene. We can now test our cats to see if they carry the cinnamon gene, which is very useful because cinnamon is an absolute recessive. Black is dominant, chocolate is recessive to black, and cinnamon is recessive to chocolate and black. So a cat must have two cinnamon genes to be cinnamon in appearance, and a black or chocolate cat can carry cinnamon and pass that cinnamon gene on to his or her kittens. Our colourpoint girl is a blue bicolour colourpoint and a carrier of cinnamon: so she has one black gene and one cinnamon one, and because she is dilute she is blue. Half of her kittens are therefore likely to be cinnamon carriers.
Cinnamon and Fawn
Fawn is the dilute version of cinnamon. Therefore any cinnamon cat with two dilute genes will be fawn. The dilution gene reduces the amount of pigment in each hair that makes up the cat’s fur, so they are literally a diluted version of the stronger colour. Blue is a diluted version of black, and lilac is a diluted version of chocolate.
Fawn and cinnamon British Shorthair cats are possible in all of the wonderful patterns of the British Shorthair: bicolour, tortie, calico, tabby, shaded and colourpointed. Some of our silver shaded colourpoints carry cinnamon....a cinnamon silver shaded colourpoint would be a real rarity!
Breeding the Cinnamon British Shorthair
Anyone wishing to embark upon a cinnamon British Shorthair breeding programme should give careful consideration to it. Because cinnamon is absolutely recessive, both parents must either be cinnamon, or carry cinnamon, in order for the kittens to be cinnamon in colour. Until recent years it was very difficult to find cinnamon British Shorthairs. Thankfully, over the last few years they have become much more easy to find, and the gene pool has been widened by breeders who have imported cinnamon cats from the continent. It is therefore now much more accessible as a colour for the aspiring or established breeder. Be aware of the basic genetics involved though:
Cinnamon and Fawn genetics
Fawn is the dilute version of cinnamon. When a cat is cinnamon and also carries two copies of the dilution gene, that cat will be fawn. If you are hoping to breed fawn or cinnamon British Shorthair cats, be aware of the basic genetic building blocks of colour:
Black + Cinnamon = black kittens (all carrying cinnamon)
Black carrying cinnamon + Cinnamon = 50% black, 50% cinnamon kittens
Blue + Cinnamon = black kittens (all carrying cinnamon and dilute)
Blue carrying cinnamon + Cinnamon = 50% black, 50% blue (all carrying dilute)
Blue carrying cinnamon + Cinnamon carrying dilute = 25% black, 25% blue, 25% cinnamon, 25% fawn
Blue + Fawn = blue kittens (all carrying cinnamon)
Blue carrying cinnamon + Fawn = 50% blue, 50% fawn
Read more about cat colour genetics in our article here.
If you are interested in breeding cinnamon or fawn British Shorthair cats, please contact us.
Our cinnamon British Shorthairs
At the present moment, we have two girls who carry the cinnamon gene. One is a blue and white colourpoint, and the other a lilac harlequin, carrying colourpoint. Both carry cinnamon and therefore approximately 50% of their kittens will also carry the gene.
If you are looking for something a little unusual, try the bicolour British Shorthair.